Category Archives: cancer, loss, grief
Disclaimer: I don’t claim this post will make sense. My world has been recently rattled by an emotional earthquake that registers as a 9.0 on the richter scale. Oh, the irony of my last post! Since then, my mother was diagnosed and then passed away from cancer. My last post is three weeks old. My last two weeks have been a complete blur.
My mother had hosted her whole family for Easter lunch. I had called, but not spoken to her the week following. The next Monday she went to the doctor, she was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with cancer. Over the next few days it was revealed that she had a very aggressive, very rare form of cancer. She passed away a week later. I keep asking myself if I’m dreaming, but I don’t wake up.
On the surface it looks like I am holding together really well. But most people don’t see that I am up at 3 a.m. writing a blog post because I can’t sleep. They don’t know that about my quiet hours when the tears come in monsoon form. I’m completely on autopilot right now. I honestly do not even know what day it is. I’m relying heavily on my calendar at this point to try and figure my days out. Yes, the tears come and I allow myself to cry, a little bit. Then I take a deep breath, stand up, square my shoulders and tell myself I can’t fall apart, I have too much to take care of. I have four daughters who even during a normal week keep me hopping. Now I am trying to figure out my mom’s paperwork and make heads or tails out of notes she scribbled along the edge of pieces of paper. Many people have asked what they can do to help, and I honestly can’t give them an answer because I can’t think of anything.
I’ve been looking at a great deal of pictures of my mom in the past week. While doing so I found a picture that I had taken in a cabin Mom, my Aunt Andrea, Gillian and Katherine and I had stayed that said, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” It is those moments when I fall apart. When I think of how she gasped when she saw my daughters ready for prom, or how I heard her hold her breath when Katherine slid across the stage during a dance recital, those are the moments the deluge of tears begin. My mom was my daughters biggest cheerleader. She was as excited about their ACT scores as they were, maybe even more. She lived for those moments with her granddaughters. When I think of what the next year will bring for my daughters: how she would have gasped as they walk across the stage for graduation, how she would have held her breath during Katie’s senior recital, how she would have screamed in excitement over Elle’s softball games, how she would have been so excited to see see Caroline perform, those are the moments that hurt the most. Those are the moments that still hurt when I think about what my dad is missing, much less my mom too.
I keep asking myself if I could do the past three months over again if I would do it differently, and I don’t think anything would change that would make much of a difference. I keep asking, “why?” I think it was said best at her memorial, “She had to leave us and go to heaven because [my dad] was up there pestering everyone about when was she going to join him.” This is probably true, and the thought gives me comfort.